BBC reinstate Gary Lineker with promise to overhaul its social media protocol

Gary Lineker – Mike Egerton/Pa Wire/Dpa

The British public television network BBC has announced that former footballer Gary Lineker will return to present his Match of the Day program this weekend after temporarily sidelining him for criticizing the government’s new immigration policy on Twitter, although it has announced a review of the guidelines that regulate the use of social networks for employees.

»I’m glad we found a way out. I support this review and look forward to coming back,» said Lineker, who last week slammed as »cruel» the reform pushed by Rishi Sunak’s executive, adding that the language »is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 1930s».

After the controversy generated by his temporary termination, the BBC’s director general, Tim Davie, acknowledged Monday in a statement that it has been »a difficult period» for all workers and viewers and has assumed that the guidance that the network applies from 2020 on social networks may have »gray areas» that lead to »confusion».

For this reason, an independent expert will be in charge of reviewing the text, although Lineker will be able to regain his job — he is the BBC’s highest paid presenter — from next Saturday. Gary is a valuable part of the BBC and I know how much the BBC means to Gary,» the director said.

Davie has also recognized in his note the importance of »impartiality», both for the channel itself and for the audience, so he hopes to find a balance between this commitment and other issues such as the right of citizens to receive opinions of different kinds or the mere »freedom of expression».